This weekend past, two influential comic creators celebrated their birthdays from the sterile comfort of their hospital beds, both victims of separate, near fatal, hit-and-run car accidents that resulted in severe brain trauma for each.
Bill Mantlo turned 61 this past Friday, November 9, 2012. Bill was struck by a car while rollerblading in New York on July 17, 1992 and after a long coma has lived in a healthcare facility ever since. He has been a shell of his former self for over twenty years.
Roger Slifer turned 58 on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Roger was struck by a car in Santa Monica, California while walking in the early morning hours of June 23, 2012 after spending an evening with his friends. It was recently posted by Jim Salicrup on Roger’s facebook page that after an induced coma Roger has been physically responsive and is awaiting surgery to replace part of his skull that was removed to take pressure off of his swollen brain. He has a long road of challenges in front of him and we can only hope and pray for his full recovery.
To this date, neither driver has ever been brought to justice but miracles do happen and should anyone who knows anything about either incident possibly be reading this, please leave a comment or contact us at email@example.com and we will be sure to forward the information to the appropriate authorities. Very specific info regarding Roger Slifer’s incident can be found here.
As the holidays approach please remember both of these gentlemen that brought so much joy to our lives through their work. I am sure belated birthday cards will still be enjoyed as will Thanksgiving wishes and Christmas and holiday cards.
Mailing addresses for each men are as follows:
c/o Queens Nassau Nursing Home
520 Beach 19th Street
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
c/o Connie Carlton (his sister – she will see that they get to his hospital in California)
815 E 1000 N
Morristown, IN 46161
Please DO NOT send money, clothes, gifts, original art or anything of value to the nursing home or hospital as they may be stolen, damaged or destroyed. Photocopies of fan art or comic covers would be fine and encouraged since both men seem to respond very positively to images of comics, especially ones that they worked on.
Adding to the coincidence that both of these men share similar comic careers as writers, frighteningly similar life altering tragedies and the same birthday weekend, their legacies may be mutually impacted by the recent rumor announced just before their birthdays on November 8th, 2012 that Disney has interest in purchasing the giant toy company, Hasbro.
Hasbro owns the rights to the Micronauts and ROM SpaceKnight, two properties that Bill Mantlo was the driving creative force behind when writing comics for Marvel (Not to mention his co-creation of Rocket Raccoon which is is rumored to be featured in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film owned and produced by Marvel/Disney)
Hasbro also owns the rights to several properties that Roger Slifer had huge creative involvement in as writer, editor or producer through his relationship with the animation company Sunbow Entertainment where he worked after leaving DC Comics where he co- created Lobo. Roger worked on G.I. Joe, Transformers, Street Fighter and Jem and the Holograms.
Should Disney ultimately own Hasbro, along with Marvel and Lucas Films they will have spent presumably well over 12 billion dollars absorbing properties that have impacted the youth market of every generation since the 1940′s thanks to the fertile minds of creators like Bill Mantlo and Roger Slifer though few have befallen their personal tragedies.
Disney’s expenditures surely are only motivated by profit and expectedly will generate billions more just as the Avengers movie proved with its record breaking box office tote. Wouldn’t it be nice if Disney would use a tiny fraction of that enormous wealth and create a program to help creators in desperate need like Bill and Roger without whom there would be no cash cow to exploit?
We can only hope for miracles.
As we head into this holiday season, I would love to see a heart grow in a corporation like Disney that wants to be recognized as a person when it comes time to declaring taxes. (To be fair they did just donate three million dollars to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.) I’d like to see that heart grow ten times more and watch all the bean counting grinches share that wealth with the folks that are responsible for it.
But if I could only wish for one miracle it would be for Bill and Roger to be healthy again so that they can realize how much we, as fans, appreciate all the wonder that they brought to our lives with their brilliant talent. Thank you, men.
Happy belated birthday, Bill and Roger! You are both in all of our thoughts and prayers.
Making Comics Because We Want to,